HURRICANE DANGER ZONES
Where is America most vulnerable to a hurricane strike? The International
Hurricane Research Center (IHRC) — the official center for Florida’s 11
universities that works alongside the National Hurricane Center — created a
list of the nation’s 10 most vulnerable areas. To create the list, the IHRC
looked at 12 criteria, though historic hurricane frequency, storm intensity and
levee/dike failure were primary determinants. Other considerations include
factors such as storm surge and freshwater flooding potential, coastal erosion
trends and island breaching history. Socioeconomic factors involved populations
at risk, evacuation distance and routes. Of the 10 areas, Florida netted four
spots, though the greatest danger — no surprise here — is to New Orleans. The
rankings, in order, include:
1. New Orleans
2. Lake Okeechobee
3. Florida Keys
4. Coastal Mississippi
5. Miami/Fort Lauderdale
6. Galveston/Houston, Texas
7. Cape Hatteras, N.C.
8. Eastern Long Island, N.Y.
9. Wilmington, N.C.
10. Tampa/St. Petersburg